When I was asked to replace Matthias Lüfkens, former Head of Digital Media at the World Economic Forum and now Managing Director EMEA of Digital Practice at Burson-Marsteller, at a presentation for business owners about social media, I accepted gladly. And I decided to put the emphasis on increasing the attendees’ overall understanding of social networks and the impact of digitalisation in general.
If you have been reading other articles on this blog or been following me on twitter, you are probably aware of how much I keep advocating for increasing digital literacy.
My sociological approach was very welcome, since it added a theoretical framework to my co-presenters’ contributions illustrating social networks from a much more practical viewpoint: Yan Luong, Social Media Strategist at Swiss National Radio, shared his experience of a traditional media company adopting social media; Raphaël Briner, highly successful entrepreneur (HyperWeek) talked about intranets as social networks; and Sophie Latrille from the Universities of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland presented a platform for crowd-sourced innovation.
It is important to note that, although the focus of each presentation was on very different aspects of business, there was undeniable common ground between us. Every speaker underlined that social media was about interaction and engagement much more than it was about certain platforms and technology. (NB: The way a platform is implemented, however, can encourage or dissuade certain kinds of engagement. In this regard, technology, its possibility and limits, impacts interaction heavily.)
While the event was in French – and thus my slides (below) are in French, too – an English blogpost on the topic can be found on my blog: “Social networks – a general sociological approach”.